Saturday, 28 April 2012

Recap: Calgary Comic Expo Day 2!

Calgary Comic Expo Recap: Day 2!
~*~ Celebrities and Insanities Edition ~*~

So my prediction about Day 2 being crazier than Day 1 was completely correct... it was INSANE!! 

     We got there an hour and a half early (good thing too!) and again we were herded into the Corral Stage area for some pre-opening entertainment. This time it was provided by the energetic and extremely entertaining indie rock band Heroincredible. In true nerd spirit they were dressed as Mario & Luigi with front woman Vanessa as Wonderwoman! These guys were super awesome and really knew how to capture the attention of their crowd by playing their own catchy tunes mixed in with some prairie classics like a cover of Arrogant Worm's The Last Saskatchewan Pirate, and my personal favourite was their rendition of the X-Men opening theme song. I have to say, Vanessa has some serious fret skills! 

     So our plan for today was to attend panels and get autographs. Neither one of us has ever been to a panel before, so we weren't quite sure what to expect. We had planned to attend back to back panels. However, when we lined up for our first one Cartoon Voices and saw how long the lines took, how limited the space was and how much congestion the Star Trek panels caused in the halls we cut our losses and only attended one other panel after the Cartoon Voices one. 

     Cartoon Voices Panel Featuring: Billy West (Futurama), Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh), Quinton Flynn (Raiden in Metal Gear Solid), Tara Strong (Power Puff Girls and Kim Possible), Brian Froud (Beyblade), and Christian Potenza (6teen, Total Island Drama)

From Left to Right the order is the same as above listed
     This was held in Boyce Theatre, with a capacity of 500. If you weren't in line early enough it was pretty much "too bad, so sad". We were really worried because we were curved all around the outside of the Corral stage near the end of the line. We ended up being lucky number 392, right before they cut the line off at 396 to wait for VIP pass holders.
     We got a quick introduction to each voice actor and what notable parts they've played. Then we proceeded to get some background on how each one got their start into voice acting. A lot of which consisted of impersonations as a kid and radio work. This was an amazing panel to attend! There was hilarious light banter back and forth and each actor weaved some of their signature voices and some notable impersonations into their stories which was a delight to hear. There wasn't much of a question period because it took so long to get through their stories, but it was still a great experience. 

A few short videos I managed to capture, I ran out of memory card space right at Tara Strong, I was super sad :(

    So while we were in line for the Sanctuary panel, there were groups of firemen milling about barking orders to move out of the way and getting really angry at the crowds. Turns out that the whole place was over capacity and it was getting dangerous. Looking at all the hallway deadlocks, and absolutely no moving room in any of the exhibition halls, I definitely agree. When we did move, it was a slight shuffle, and the volunteers had to remind everyone to make their way in a calm orderly fashion, and no using "Force Chokes" (dorky Star Wars joke). They even started turning away thousands of people who had pre-purchased tickets for this weekend and for today specifically, and who had travelled from far and wide. They ended up missing their photo ops, autographs and panels which really sucks. Even people who went out to their vehicle to drop things off, or out for a smoke (I feel less bad about this because YUCK!) weren't allowed back in. The planners definitely underestimated how many people would be showing up for the once in a lifetime reunion of the entire principle cast of Star Trek The Next Generation

     Sanctuary Panel Featuring: Ryan Robbins, Amanda Tapping and Christopher Heyerdahl 
     I've been following Amanda Tapping since she first starred in the science fiction series entitled Stargate: SG-1, as the incredibly smart air force employed Samantha Carter. In fact her playing such a prominent role in science is what inspired me to enter the science field too. She was definitely at the top of my to see/meet list!
    The panel consisted of a mashup of Stargate, Sanctuary and new projects as the subjects. These three are really great friends and it showed in how well they interacted with each other. They were super friendly and answered all the crowd questions with wit and ease. 

A few short videos (this isn't the complete panel, I only got snippets):


     After the panels we embarked on the insane journey of obtaining autographs. This is where being short really sucked, I couldn't see my way through the crowd but luckily the celebrity posters were high enough to provide a point of reference. I couldn't get a photo of James and Oliver Phelps (HP's Weasley twins) as they were being barraged by a horde of screaming fan girls. But the primary three autographs we wanted were: James Marsters (As Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fame), Amanda Tapping and Stan Lee. 

     James Marsters Signing
    This was for my friend Nicole, who couldn't come to the expo with us, but she loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
James Marsters Signing

James Marster's Signing the autograph

I love the Bite Me! haha
     Amanda Tapping Signing

     Both James Marsters and Amanda Tapping had a knack for putting nervous fans at ease, they made light small talk while signing and they were just an absolute pleasure to interact with!

     Stan Lee Signing
     This was a whole different bucket of worms. The program stated that in order to get a Stan Lee autograph you would need to pre-purchase a voucher (which I luckily did on Day 1), because they were sold out for today. But that's not even the half of it. Poor Stan Lee basically sits there and signs his name NON STOP like an automated machine. He's got assistants handing him the stuff and interchanging pens when needed, and he has to do this at a break neck speed because this line wraps around the celebrity autographing area as one of the most popular lines (and it was especially busy because it was near Sir Patrick Stewart). When we finally got closer to Stan Lee in the line, a girl informed us that he was all out of photos to sign (if you didn't bring anything), and that you would have to leave your spot in line to purchase something >.<. Luckily I brought a Comic :D. However, if Stan Lee decided to call it quits because he was tired, that was it. You'd have to wait in line for a few hours until the next signing, or refund your ticket, or try again the next day. Even though you can't get any words in, they at least let you take pictures of him, with no flash of course.

     Although, one of the coolest things I saw someone bring for Stan Lee to sign was a complete set of 10 Marvel themed guitars!! They were amazing! 

    Even with all the ups and downs of crowds and the waiting. Patience and perseverance really paid off. Hopefully we can repeat our success tomorrow, with another day packed with panels! 

Friday, 27 April 2012

Recap: Calgary Comic Expo Day 1!

Calgary Comic Expo Recap: Day 1!

So it's been a whirlwind of a day! The Calgary Comic Expo is the first nerd fest convention I've ever been to, and it's definitely a good choice to ease into the convention experience.

My boyfriend and I ended up at the Calgary Stampede park an hour and a half early, and even that wasn't early enough (it was a pretty crazy line-up to get in), after getting our weekend passes we were ushered into the Corral stage area for some loud, feel it in your rib cage alternative rock/electro pop band Septembryo to entertain and amuse us until 3:00pm when the doors opened, at which point we wandered aimlessly for awhile trying to meet up with friends (it's darn near impossible to find each other in such a massive crowd!)

When we finally got onto the show floor with all the artist tables and shops, I felt like I could finally breathe. The crowds weren't nearly as bad so early - but this was a false sense of security, it got NUTS towards 5 pm. 

We had decided that we'd dedicate Friday to pure artist alley shopping and getting our bearings. We had some web comic artists that we wanted to meet such as the hilarious Jennie Breeden over at The Devil's Panties - It's not Satanic Porn comic, who I got to sign a volume of her comics and who graciously agreed to take a photo with me! 
Look look at her awesome flame boots!!
Then we stopped off at the amazing Danielle Corsetto's booth where my boyfriend unburdened her of several volumes of her comic, and in which she took the time to sign and even custom draw a character in each volume! 
She was so fun to talk to! We got lucky because we saw her early before the crowd formed!
Next up we met up with Max Brooks, author of World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide! I got him to sign my copy of The Zombie Survival Guide in which he left a very inspirational comment :D.

I also managed to pick up some signed prints of selected works from the incredibly talented Camilla d'Errico

All the artists and authors we met were really enthusiastic and very approachable to talk to, so for me it was a great start to the convention!

I really expected more people to be dressed in costume, but I predict that tomorrow will have more people and more of them will be in costumes! However, what I did see of costumes of course included the standard Star Wars ensemble, complete with wookies (poor guy in the furry suit all day) and slave princess Leia. As well as the Lord of the Rings, Star Trek groups and an assortment of video game and comic book heroes of course.

My FAVORITE one was this guy: 
His Zombie makeup was amazing and he was totally into his character, complete with groaning, shuffling; even when I asked him if I could take his photo.

I have a feeling that tomorrow is going to be insane in the membrane when the Panels and celebrities are in full swing. As it was there weren't many celebrities there today (no Weasley Twins or Amanda Tapping), although Stan Lee (creator of Marvel Comics) and James Marster's (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) autograph lines consumed a good portion of the celebrity area.

It took us a good 3 hours to get through the whole artist/shop area. Good thing I wore comfy shoes, either way my legs BURN, and it started to get hot and nerd sweaty (*shudder*) in the buildings when we finally decided to call it a day.

Phew. I really need to go pass out, because tomorrow I have an appointment with Stan Lee! - okay I have an appointment to get into line to briefly meet Stan Lee whilst clutching an old comic for him to sign, but still it will be epic! Also up on the roster tomorrow is James Marsters and Amanda Tapping (of Stargate fame) and some cartoon panels to attend! 

Check back tomorrow for day 2 recap!

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

So I've been on a semi-hiatus for the last few weeks, I've had finals and now that they're over I'm hoping to get back to this in full swing! I'm over at the Calgary Comic Expo this weekend, so check back for some nerdy recaps and pictures! 

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction with a Dystopian backdrop
Source: Bought it

Book Description from Publisher:
“You can’t touch me,” I whisper.
I’m lying, is what I don’t tell him.
He can touch me, is what I’ll never tell him.
But things happen when people touch me.
Strange things.
Bad things.
No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.
But Juliette has plans of her own.
After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time— and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.

When we’re first introduced to Juliette she has been sitting in solitary confinement for 264 days after killing someone by merely touching them. The ruling power called The Reestablishment decided it was best to lock her up for the rest of her life, until one day the door to her cell opens and a new cell mate strolls in and changes her life forever.
I was introduced to this book during my first few days of using Twitter after following book blogs and authors, it eventually led to me following @TaherehMafi, and I decided to look up the book she mentioned in her twitter description (see social networking really does work!). The premise was intriguing and the next time I was at the bookstore I found it on the shelf and decided to flip through it. What really caught my eye was the unique strike through sentences littered throughout the book, so I figured why not and bought it.
Also the cover was shiny— I’m easily distracted and attracted to shiny objects. Really though the glittering burst surrounding the model on the cover was really effective in conveying the tag line “My Touch Is Power.”, it feels like a wave of power moving outward.
Juliette has been isolated from others since her childhood, with constant ridicule and no physical contact, and then eventually prison. It’s no wonder that solitary confinement would make someone a little batty, really it’s to be expected to come out with some imbalance. Also, when you’re forced to look at the same 4 walls every day, you get to know them extremely well- in explicit detail and Juliette had a knack for details and expressing them in listed numbers. This gave a very strict structured feel to the whole world when she was describing things, which is pretty effective considering she spends most of her time in military controlled compounds. In general this whole experience has made her extremely distrustful and introverted.
The story reads like a journal, where she is recounting the events leading up to and including the present, and adding little bits of internal dialogue that at the moment she wanted to say but didn’t— which to the reader we see it as the stricken out lines. Some people may find these distracting, but I actually enjoyed them, they slowed down my reading a bit. I really didn’t mind though, I took the time to savour these little moments that let us peek into the character’s state of mind.
The character of Juliette is a complex and multifaceted one, with each side conflicting with the other. She’s very wary of others (with good reason), but she wants to help people if she can. She craves to touch others (especially when you’re a hormone fuelled teenager), but is constantly reminded that her touch can kill. This causes moments of self loathing and then moments of defiance against her captor. It was really interesting to be able to explore the many parts of her character, but sometimes it was a bit difficult to follow, I’d stop and think wait what? Is this the same person? I was really glad that eventually we start seeing a more unified and strong Juliette, who is much more coherent - I look forward to how much more she might grow in the subsequent books.
Warner, Juliette’s captor and the commander of a particular slice of Reestablishment heaven plays an over the top obsessed psycho who will do anything to have Juliette as a weapon….and for other more unsavoury purposes… Really his character is just that super creepy guy that wants to show the world how awesome he is by any super sadistic means necessary, honestly, I was disturbed by him — well played Tahereh…well played.
Adam, oh Adam, he reminds me of Clark Kent (the Smallville version), the self sacrificing saviour, driven by the downstairs brain to “save the girl!”. Also, insert obligatory muscular body here. Need I say more?
The supporting characters, tended to steal the show though. Where with Juliette, Warner and Adam we get some pretty serious dialogue, the character Kenji provided the much needed comedic relief to the serious situations. His banter back and forth with everyone is hilarious.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, and the ending reveal was a huge shocker moment that exploded the doors open for an exciting sequel.

Rating: 4/5 HOT cups of Tea!
It was super enjoyable to read, lots of sexual tension, and Tahereh is the one of the most entertaining people to follow on Twitter ever!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Author: Kristen Simmons
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 364
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Romance
Source: Borrowed from Library

Book Description:
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.
The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.
There are no more police-instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behaviour-instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don’t come back.
Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.
Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.
That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statues. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings-the only boy Ember has ever loved.

The hype around Article 5 was huge, it was riding the dystopian fame wave and at the time it was on top. After reading the synopsis I was curious as to what these Articles specifically entailed. I searched every bookstore near me, and even in other cities while on vacation and when I couldn’t find it, it just made me more fervent to get my hands on it— this should have been my first clue. This was fate telling me I shouldn’t buy it. I was about to give up my search and purchase it online when my local library got a copy and I thought “wow just my luck!”. I am so glad I ended up borrowing it…
The cover itself is pretty dramatic with the ruins of a city in monochrome and the now signature plaid shirt being the only colour present. As you can probably guess it’s Ember and Chase on the cover.
I’ll try and keep this as spoiler free as possible and you can decide if you really want to keep going.
So America as we know it has ended… somehow - we never really find out, but since the story is primarily told from Ember’s point of view I figure we’re not told because maybe she doesn’t actually know. I assume the reasons why will be revealed later in the series (hopefully). But basically, citizens are very religiously controlled, and are run on the ideas that primarily women are back to being less than men, we’re baby making factories in marriage only and are allowably beat into submission while men are expected to do the “manly” things like join the military. It’s all very Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaids Tale”.
The book starts out with Ember narrating the motions of her army controlled life and how she “keeps” her disobeying mother from getting them arrested — honestly though I felt like Ember did very little in the way of keeping them alive. I really figured she’d have some serious street smarts and survival skills what with being a post apocalyptic war survivor, but no— she only knows “how to get the things she needs” because the military tells them when and where they can get them (go figure right?!). Her supposed “perfected the art of keeping a low profile”, please, all she does is shut her mouth and do as she’s told by the military, which makes her very ignorant about the situations and people around her. Altogether, it produces a very predictable and infuriating plot as you watch Ember struggle through this dystopian world.
Now, I’m just going to put this out here, because I’m sure you guessed what happens when girl meets previous boy love - they run off together into the wasteland of America to survive and look for her mom.
Ember’s character…Oh boy where do I start. I wanted to smack some sense into her 90% of the time, I’ve never hated a character so much before. If she wasn’t whining or hating on Chase for joining the military/carrying weapons/making the tough decisions that allow them to survive, she was reminiscing about friends we never see again, or how she “protected” her mom, all while making THE WORST life related decisions ever! She does things that NO ONE would do when someone’s trying to save your life and especially when you have no outdoors experience or supplies (*face palm X 100*). She’s so narrow minded, she only sees what she believes to be the right decisions and has a tough time empathizing with anyone else’s reasons, basically it’s her way or no way. However, there is a teeny spot near the end where she sort of redeems herself with an extremely well executed plan.
Chase. He has the patience of a freaking saint to deal with Ember. He’s an incredibly well crafted character, and basically the idol for deadly hot looking soldier with the smarts and the skills for a post apocalyptic world. I honestly am not quite sure what he loves so much in Ember? Maybe her super morality and blood hound like determination once she finds some goal to latch onto. But while juggling Ember’s mood swings, his plans, and on top of everything PROTECTING them while suffering with internal post traumatic stress he manages to stay functional. I really loved his character, probably because he was the only rational thing I could cling onto as a reader trying to tread through. While Ember has a dilemma with everything Chase does, I couldn’t find a fault in any decision he made because the rules of survival are so much different in a broken world, and Ember really needed to get that into her head.
I’m not entirely sure if it was the author’s intent to make Ember so irritating, with Chase as the counterbalance, but if it was she was highly successful at it, maybe a bit too successful where Ember was concerned. The romance in this book was really awkward and tense, all I really got from it was (in my own paraphrasing): Ember: I want you, but I don’t even know you any more!! and Chase: You think I’d go AWOL for YOU if I didn’t LOVE you?!, pretty much summed it up for me.
I have to admit the enemies in this book were well executed, you weren’t quite sure of their intentions until it was too late. There were also some great action sequences and crushing revelations. But there was a moment, about halfway into the book where an event occurred that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I won’t tell you what it is, but as a kid who grew up in a farming community, camped, and common sense in general of what to do with edible animals when it’s post apocalypse and you’re starving, I had to stop and take some deep calming breaths.
Near the end, Ember finally grows up a bit, has some realizations and it’s like a weight lifted off your chest because she FINALLY gets it. So as long as she stays as this new person, I think I might be able to make it through a second book.
Simmons’ writing style is pretty solid and easy to follow which made getting through this book a bit more bearable for me. I know lots of people enjoyed it, and a lot of people didn’t. Overall I’m somewhere in between, but specifically, every time I think about that back breaking moment I’m on the “didn’t enjoy it” side. 

Rating: 2.5/5 Tepid cups of Tea.
There were some aspects I really enjoyed, but Ember just irritated me. Borrow it first, then buy it if you really want it. I'm really hoping that the new Ember can carry over into the next one and make it amazing!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Review and Art: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Author: Brodi Ashton
Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray / Harper Collins
Pages: 370
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Mythology
Source: Bought it

Book Description from Publisher: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned —to her old life, her family, her boyfriend — before she’s banished back to the underworld … this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance — and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, as followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

I love studying Classical myths (I’ve dedicated a good portion of my archaeology minor to this) and so when there’s any mention of classical myth in a book I always hop onto the train! This book has been pitched as a loose basis of the story of Hades and Persephone, but this story acts only as a backdrop in Everneath. This book is moreso a mythology melting pot set in modern times, because there was far more mythology and mythological themes such as the concept of the hero in a myth, references to Osiris and the story of Eurydice and Orpheus ends up playing a pivotal role.
The cover- OH MY GOSH, it’s GORGEOUS! The full flowing dress, and the smoke and tendril wisps while contrasting the bright red with the black make for an absolutely hypnotic cover, I could stare at it and sigh for hours.
The story is told through a series of flashbacks of the events leading up to how Nikki and her boyfriend Jack got together, and how her life fell to pieces which led her straight to the seductive arms of Cole and the Everneath.
The world in which the story occurs in is all pretty standard, you know, there’s the high school, the club, some shopping establishment, the house - they serve as monotone spaces for the scenes to be acted out in, but most of the time I was too engrossed in the character interactions anyhow, but the descriptions involving the Everneath, brought to mind the image of Acrosolium’s, which is very fitting given the purpose of Acrosolium’s.

Image by Robert Consoli

When Nikki first comes back she’s a lifeless, emotionless and just seems to be going through the motions, which is understandable when you’ve spent the last- what felt like 100 years helping to sustain ethereal beings and then trying to live through all the rumours and speculation of her whereabouts for all the time she’s been missing.
What initially really threw me off is when the name Becks was dropped, and I thought, whoa- wait who’s Becks?? Then it dawned on me that the author used two names (Nikki and Becks) to separate the two time frames and the people of her life. It worked really well, and helped to keep the flashbacks and the present versions of Nikki separate, as well as the two boys Jack and Cole distinct in their voices.
The story starts out slow, as she’s easing back into her life, and everyone treats her carefully as if she’s fragile porcelain and she’ll shatter at the slightest touch, so no one bothers to enquire as to what happened- which is a bit disturbing, sure there’s giving space but most best friends and parents would be all over with curious questions. But bit by bit the back story is revealed as the present builds to the crescendo that is the 6 month deadline, there’s some sinister plots revealed and a life changing decision is made.
The romance aspect between Jack and Nikki is the classic teen story of a smart girl and a jock guy who dates all the wrong girls (insert the big B on campus) and then finally realizes that Nikki is the one for him. It's a cute story, a bit cliché (I could see what happened coming from a mile away) but the determination that Jack puts into getting through to Nikki just sealed the deal for me and made this a couple worth fighting for! 
Cole was by far the most interesting, although him and his sidekick bring to mind Pain and Panic from Disney’s Hercules, they serve the ruler of the underworld (in this case it’s a Queen), and do a lot of scheming and trickery, but there’s solid moments of emotion and clarity with Cole where you feel sympathy and then there are some down right creepy moments. Cole may be the hot bad boy that everyone fawns over, but he was such a jerk in some points I don’t think it could redeem him to the status of lovable.
I definitely see him as Pain...haha

All in all, Everneath was a quick and easy read, and left on a huge cliff hanger that makes you wonder- where will Brodi take the story from here?! 

Rating: 4/5 HOT cups of Tea! 
My fingers are crossed hoping that the next cover will be just as gorgeous as this one!

So I've been saving this review for this day! I fell so in love with the cover that I used it as a part of my Art class term project. I added my interpretation of Cole in (Sorry Brodi Ashton I don't think I quite got his hair floppy enough, I'm not a floppy haired person!) I did this in chunks and stages with soft pastel (aka chalk) on 35" X 47" Stonehenge paper. At first I really hated how Cole turned out, but afterwards when I could see the whole thing together it just had an awesome dramatic flare to it and I ended up really loving it! Here's to hoping my art prof does too *fingers crossed*  

~*~UPDATE~*~: Want this drawing? 
Well you can win it here:

Monday, 2 April 2012

Epic Book Series to TV Adaptations: Sometimes Successful....other times....not so much.

EPIC Television TIME!

Did you watch the premiere of the second season of HBO's Game of Thrones last night?! Because it was freaking EPIC!!!!!

Okay now that I have that out of my system let's talk TV Adaptations of Books. 

We all know how movie adaptations of books go, they're even more of a hit or miss scenario than TV shows because the directors are forced to compress and mutilate a beloved book to fit into a 2 hour time slot while attracting new viewers and trying to keep them true to the books. But books that are made into movies are usually a relatively short series and would be incredibly awkward and boring if they were stretched out into a TV show (imagine how long you'd have to watch Katniss hunt, or primp and train for the Games if it were a show *shudder*). 

So what do you do with a high fantasy series that spans an excess of 600+ pages a book, with exquisitely detailed lands and a diverse cast of characters in over 5 books like George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones for the new fans) well you turn it into a TV show of course! 

I started reading the first book "A Game of Thrones" when I was 13...I think I was in my epic fantasy phase, you know reading all 10+ books in a series *cough* The Wheel of Time *cough*.
 I loved that the books are told from a multitude of characters (each with a unique voice) with multiple plots going on simultaneously. So really the only way to engage an audience with this kind of story is to take the time to fully develop the subtleties. I'm really glad that HBO optioned this because I feel they're the only ones that could properly (considering budget and production quality) portray all the sex, magic, violence and devious plotting that the series is comprised of.

When I saw the first episode of the first season I was instantly hooked - probably because I had read the books and saw how beautifully true they stayed to the story. The actors and actresses put on the performances of their lives, each of them delivering sharp wit, baring their bodies and doing some seriously disturbing things. My boyfriend on the other hand was really "Eh..." because he had no interest in the books (he reads really high fantasy books- more dragons, and dwarves), but this was probably because looking at the sheer size of the books they're pretty daunting. 

But when he said "Eh..." I thought great, if he thinks it's boring what will other people think, is this going to crash and burn??!!

Fast forward to 2 episodes later, he was hooked and we watched it religiously weekly and at the end all he could say was "WHEN DOES THE NEXT ONE COME OUT?!?!" His face fell when I told him not until next year.

But last night's premiere did not disappoint, we got a quick refresher recap of what happened last season and where the stakes stand as everyone prepares to fight for the crown. We were introduced to a few new characters notably the red witch Melisandre played by Carice Van Houten: 
  Who was a brilliant addition to the cast as a religious fanatic and powerful magic user. 

But who I'm SUUUUUPER excited to see is Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell - I loved her as Anne Boleyn in The Tudors - she does extremely well as a regal but intelligent and innocent character.  

Doesn't she just fit on that iron throne perfectly?
Overall HBO has done a great job bringing this series to life I just really hope that HBO can continue to do justice to the series... and not stray from the whole plot like another one of their popular shows. It's still extremely entertaining - but I'm pretty sure fans of the books keep going *face palm* whenever something that was supposed to happen doesn't or vice versa. 

If you haven't seen this series yet what are you waiting for?! Go watch it, I've recommended this to friends that absolutely abhor high fantasy (LoTR is all they'll admit to watching), but they LOVED Game of Thrones (likely due to the sex, gossip and dramarama that happens). 

Did you watch this premiere last night? What do you think of the series so far?

-Next time on the blog: Not so successful Book to TV adaptations. 
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